Q&A with Scrooge

Reese Hill, Reporter

After Phong Nguyen ’20 was cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in City High’s winter play “A Christmas Carol,” The Little Hawk sat down with him to discuss his upcoming fame.

What was your reaction to seeing the cast list?

Well, it was very untraditional. Doug [Lestina] gave me the cast list early because I was walking with Reese Hill to see it on the wall personally [but it wasn’t posted yet]. When we both saw our names – specifically my name, as “Scrooge” – I just ran [upstairs]. Emotions rushed through me.

What were you hoping for during your audition?

I was very busy and auditioning was something I was considering not doing. I didn’t put much thought into making it “good”, but I wanted it to be memorized and acted well, putting emotion into it. It was still me trying to get better at any audition, even ones that I’m not trying [for a role].

What are you most nervous about?

I’m nervous about the transition of me being a one-liner character, like in the past shows, to having a play centered around Scrooge, and how I will be in almost every scene, how I will have to up my game.

Describe your vision of Scrooge.

[He’s] a conflicted man who was only concerned about money. But eventually, seeing how Christmas has impacted other people … outside of his world, it really opens up his eyes [to see] “Wow, Christmas means more than just a holiday people celebrate just so that they can have a celebration.”

Why do you do theater, and what do you like about it?

I like meeting people who I relate with and [making] friends who won’t judge me that quickly. I always liked acting. It’s a way to express myself, because usually I don’t really express myself as a normal person. I like doing it, it brings out a different side of me.

What’s your favorite part about the City High drama department?

The main reason why I’m in the drama department is the people. They’re really good, really talented. I love being around talented people!